first-time novelist

First-time Writer: Setting a Daily Word Count

Consistency is the key. Set a writing goal. Can you write 750 to 1000 words a day? If you can do that, you will have a first draft in around 90 days. Do you have a rough sense of how long you want ...

The 90-Day Memoir – Intimacy Hangover

In the first day of The 90-Day Memoir workshop the writers often have some major insights and revelations. But it is the second day that things start to get interesting. Here’s an excerpt from my ...

Begin Your Story

There are as many ways to begin your book or screenplay as there are ways to procrastinate. Beginning to write your story is easier than you think. All you have to do is sit down, get out a sheet of ...

The End of the Story Informs the Beginning

In Steven Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he states: “Begin with the end in mind.” For first-time writers, this is helpful advice. But let’s clarify. When we talk about “the ...

3 Secrets for Getting Started On Writing Your First Novel

Every writer struggles with getting the story from imagination to the page. The first-time novelist confronts the special challenge of having never done this before. Here are three quick tips to ...

Shedding the Idea for Truth in Writing

It’s not just first-time novelists or screenwriters that struggle with getting their story from the imagination to the page. Every writer struggles with this. Here’s the thing: Our idea of our story ...

“What do I do when I get stuck in my story?”

When writers come to a dead stop there can be a tendency to panic. It’s important to remember that our idea of our story is never the whole story. When we try to figure it out, we tend to dig a ...

Finding Your Writing Voice

I work with many first-time novelists, screenwriters, and memoirists, and the question of voice always comes up. “Do you think I have a voice?” asks the first-time writer. “Should it be in a ...

Trusting the Unconscious

If you’re a first-time writer, and you’ve yet to complete a manuscript, you may have had the experience of writing something, and getting stuck halfway through. Our idea of our story is rarely the ...

Is It Any Good?

There can be a real desire, especially for the novice writer, to have someone validate our work as soon as possible. Is it really any good? I have a friend, a successful Century City lawyer, let’s ...

Ignorance is Bliss

I wrote the first draft of my first novel in just under 90 days. I’d been writing stand-up and screenplays for years, but very little prose. I had a strong sense of story, and a pretty clear ...

Your Truest Self

As you write each day, you discover your own process. You begin to see there is no “right way” to create and that your objective is simply to let the story live. The first draft is a near constant ...

Creativity is our Birthright

Creativity is our birthright. We live in a culture that is invested in our believing otherwise. I frequently hear folks talk of talent as though it were a finite commodity that one either possessed ...

Overcoming Self-Doubt

I used to be amazed at the madness of my mind. One day, I think my writing is brilliant, and the next I’m cringing with embarrassment. It’s difficult to have objectivity when we’re in the middle of ...

“What is the Book Market Looking For?”

“What does the market want?” I hear this question frequently from first-time novelists, as if there’s some secret, as if their job is to figure it out, so that they can fulfill the marketplace’s ...

Trust

I grew up in a very bright, academic family, but at times I felt alone. My family members were very logical, reasonable people. I was not. I was more interested in the nature of things and the ...

What Happens Next?

“Be curious, not judgmental.” – Walt Whitman   A fatal mistake many writers make in beginning a new story, is allowing themselves to be seduced by their premise. They set about trying to ...

Technique

“Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.”– Martha Graham   Technique develops over time. By reading and writing, we absorb a sense of ...